Research ArticleANTHROPOLOGY

Nonlinear landscape and cultural response to sea-level rise

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Science Advances  04 Nov 2020:
Vol. 6, no. 45, eabb6376
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abb6376
  • Fig. 1 Holocene sea-level change.

    Reconstructed and modeled sea level and rates of sea-level change at Scilly. (A) Proxy sea-level data from dated sediments as precise data points (black boxes) with 2σ dating (horizontal) and reconstruction (vertical) uncertainties as well as limiting data points for sea-level maxima (green) and minima (blue) also with 2σ dating (horizontal) uncertainties. Gray shading is a statistical regression of the proxy data to provide a probabilistic sea-level envelope with mean (gray line), 1σ (dark gray), and 2σ (light gray) distributions. Colored dashed lines are relative sea-level outputs from a selection of the best-performing glacial isostatic adjustment models used in the study to extend the sea-level record beyond 7 ka. (B) Rates of sea-level change calculated from the statistical regression of the proxy data with mean (gray line), 1σ (dark gray), and 2σ (light gray) distributions. Years BP, years before present.

  • Fig. 2 Holocene paleogeographies of Scilly.

    Changes in topography (green), bathymetry (blue), and intertidal area (yellow) modeled from the present-day values and extended back in time using relative sea- and land-level adjustments from the Bradley(71p350) glacial isostatic adjustment model and corrected for changes in tidal range.

  • Fig. 3 Environmental and landscape change.

    Landscape changes over the past 13,000 years. (A) Decline in total land area (defined as area in km2 above mean high water spring tides) and (B) change in area of the intertidal zone, determined from observational sea-level changes (gray shading) and relative sea-level outputs from glacial isostatic adjustment models (dashed lines). The changing ratio of land area to intertidal area (A) and the intertidal area as a percentage of the total area above mean low water spring tides (B) are also shown on secondary axes. (C) Vegetation cover index based on the first nMDS axis of the screened (intertidal and coastal samples removed) pollen data (filled circles) that has also been classified into community clusters (circle colors; fig. S1). (D) Fire index derived from counts of macro (>50 μm) charcoal from pollen samples from 17 of the sediment cores and monoliths from Scilly that were used to develop a composite charcoal curve.

  • Fig. 4 Regional population demographics.

    Population demography estimated using SPDs of archeological radiocarbon dates. Radiocarbon SPD curves for Devon and Cornwall (A) and Brittany and Normandy (B) shown as solid colored curves. Iterations of random permutations (n = 1000) of the global (Devon and Cornwall plus Brittany and Normandy) radiocarbon dataset are used to develop a theoretical global trend with 95% critical thresholds (gray shading). Departures of local SPD curves above (red shading) and below (blue shading) this theoretical global model are shown to denote regionally specific and significant population trends.

Supplementary Materials

  • Supplementary Materials

    Nonlinear landscape and cultural response to sea-level rise

    Robert L. Barnett, Dan J. Charman, Charles Johns, Sophie L. Ward, Andrew Bevan, Sarah L. Bradley, Kevin Camidge, Ralph M. Fyfe, W. Roland Gehrels, Maria J. Gehrels, Jackie Hatton, Nicole S. Khan, Peter Marshall, S. Yoshi Maezumi, Steve Mills, Jacqui Mulville, Marta Perez, Helen M. Roberts, James D. Scourse, Francis Shepherd, Todd Stevens

    Download Supplement

    The PDF file includes:

    • Figs. S1 to S3
    • Tables S1 to S6
    • Legends for datasets S1 to S3
    • List of Radiocarbon Resources

    Other Supplementary Material for this manuscript includes the following:

    Files in this Data Supplement:

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